The shimmery, shining, repetitive synth line that runs through much of 100%’s “Prisoner” is like an analogous representation of a transmission through a landline. The other synth melodies sound like something that could have come about in 1985, 1995, 2005 or 2025. Which is fitting given the themes of the song and Lena Molnar’s vocals striking an inquisitive and low-key confrontational tone questioning the nature of power relations, justice, public safety and the habits of a society choosing to self-medicate rather than deal with serious social issues and how we deal with them or don’t in an adequate way. The song is a lo-fi, mostly electronic post-punk track but that fits these eternal themes that never seem to get resolved and though technology develops society finds a way to sweep problems that science and a current dominant form of economics, almost always in lock step with one another, doesn’t seem to be able to address to anyone’s satisfaction. Is this a song inquiring about the life of a prisoner? Who is the prisoner? Are we all of habits and ways of being and living? Does this song expand upon the meaning of “The Prisoner’s Dilemma”? This song invites the listener to contemplate these questions on a fundamental level. Fans of early Ladytron will appreciate how the song seems both retro and out of normal time. Listen to “Prisoner” on Spotify, give the rest of the album Clear Visions out on It Records now, and follow the Australian band 100% at the links below.
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